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Upscale—but affordable—SF bakery forced to raise prices amid inflation

Customers at Arizmendi Bakery's Mission District location on Valencia Street check out on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022. Arizmendi is one of many local spots raising their prices to stay afloat amid the inflation of staple item prices such as bread and eggs. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Squeezed by soaring food costs associated with inflation, Arizmendi Bakery locations in the Mission and Inner Sunset have raised prices on baked goods across the menu this month.

The worker-owned cooperative, which is known for selling freshly baked pastries and pizzas for less than competitors like Tartine, attached a sign to its cash register at the Valencia Street location explaining that its main ingredients have become significantly more expensive, with butter up by 67%, eggs up by 48%, flour up by 36% and sugar up by 24%.

Fresh sourdough baguettes on display at Arizmendi Bakery's Mission District location on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022 | Camille Cohen/The Standard | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

The sign reads, “Due to steep increases in many of our staple products, we have raised our prices as a way to sustain our business and keep serving the community.” 

The Ninth Avenue bakery has raised prices across the menu by around 25 cents for each item. “Ideally, we don’t want to increase prices, but with all the increases for flour, eggs and butter, we had to,” said worker-owner Eddie Rotandi. The current price of a sourdough round at the Ninth Avenue location is $5.50.

Arizmendi is one of many Bay Area restaurants that have been forced to increase their prices as inflation takes its toll on the hospitality industry, and other businesses such as Burma Bites have posted letters about their inflation-related price hikes. 

Judy Dyer inspects the cases of pastries at Arizmendi Bakery's Valencia Street location on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

One of the oldest food cooperatives in the Bay Area, Arizmendi was established in 1997 with support from Berkeley’s worker-owned cornerstone, the Cheese Board Collective. The bakery takes its name from Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta, a Basque labor organizer who helped to create a federation of worker cooperatives in the 1950s.  

There are also Arizmendi bakeries in Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville and San Rafael, and all locations are independently operated, so decision-making power about prices and products rests in the hands of the workers at each location.